UK Tier 2 (General) Visa
OverviewYou can apply for a Tier 2 (General) visa if
- You've been offered a skilled job in the UK
- You're from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland.
- You need to be sponsored - ie have a certificate of sponsorship from a licensed sponsor - before you can apply to come to the UK to work.
- The work you do in the UK must relate to the work of your sponsor organisation.
- You can apply for a visa up to 3 months before your date of travel to the UK
- You should get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks
- You can check the guide processing times to find out how long getting a visa might take in your country
- You can come to the UK with a Tier 2 (General) visa for a maximum of 5 years and 14 days, or the time given on your certificate of sponsorship plus 1 month, whichever is shorter
- Your stay must start no more than 14 days before the start date on your certificate of sponsorship
- You can apply to extend this visa for up to another 5 years, as long as your total stay is not more than 6 years
What you can and can't doYou can:
- Work for your sponsor in the job described in your certificate of sponsorship
- Do a second job in the same sector and at the same level as your main job for up to 20 hours per week
- Do a job which has a shortage of workers in the UK for up to 20 hours per week
- Do voluntary work
- Study as long as it doesn't interfere with the job you're sponsored for
- Travel abroad and return to the UK
- Bring family members with you
- Own more than 10% of your sponsor's shares (unless you earn more than £153,500 a year)
- Get public funds
- Start working before you get the visa
- Apply for a second job until you've started working for your sponsor